Facilitation Guide: Justice in My Home Electric Bills. How Much am I Paying for My Electricity?

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1 Facilitation Guide: Justice in My Home Electric Bills How Much am I Paying for My Electricity? This facilitation guide is part of CEED s Energy Justice Toolkit which can be found at If you are based near CEED s office, pick up a Power Pack with all the supplies! If you are further away, many of the materials can be easily purchased from your local hardware store. Questions? Contact CEED at or Materials (included in CEED Power Pack) Facilitation Steps: Focus on the facilitation questions in BOLD. Other items are ideas for moving the group toward the discussion, verbally and visually. 1) How do you use energy in your home throughout the day? [in the morning, afternoon, evening, night] [Just discuss or you can draw or write appliances on a sheet on the wall or on a table] 2) Who is your electric company and how do they know how much electricity you use? Whenever we go to the market, we know exactly how much a gallon of milk costs us. Since we are purchasing electricity every time we turn on a light or an appliance, but we don t know how much electricity is costing us each time we turn on the light or an appliance. That s what we re going to figure out today! 3) Let s take a look at our home electric bill [On a sheet of paper on wall or table, write the following for each family/household] [If you don t have access to a local bill, you can look up the average cost of residential electricity in your state at: Copyright Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) 2016 Credit CEED if facilitation guide used - 1

2 Facilitation Guide: Justice in My Home Electric Bills Zitlali Carlos Andy Tiana $ kwh $/ kwh Find the TOTAL $ amount you paid this month on your bill. [Write down] This is calculated based on how much you use, along with taxes and other fees that are based on how much you use, and the basic fee just to be connected. Find the Total kwh Usage on your bill. [Write down]. Just like we buy milk by the gallon; we buy electricity by the kilowatt-hour (kwh) Divide the total dollar amount on your bill by the total kwh you used. [write down in different color]. Just like you pay $2/gallon for milk, this is how much you paid $/kwh for electricity that month. 4) How many Kilowatt hours are you buying when you use your appliances? Start with the hairdryer as a group. Pass it around; Ask everyone to find the Watts on the hairdryer. [write it up on the wall or sheet of paper] Using the Kill-A-Watt meter, test the appliance - On hi, low, cold, hot, how does it change how many Watts the hairdryer is using? Using one of the watt numbers, calculate the energy cost of the hairdryer per year as a group on the wall or kitchen table. i. How long do you use it in a day? (should we say half an hour)? ii. How many days a year? [calculate the WATT HOURS the hair dryer uses in a year] iii. Divide by a thousand. [This is changing the watt hours to KILO watt hours] iv. Multiply it now by the $ you pay per kilowatt hour form your electric bill. This is how much the hair dryer costs your family per year. Hairdryer Lightbulb Appliance Appliance (#) WATTS used by appliance (x) hours used per day (x) days used per year WATT HOURS IN A YEAR (/) 1000 KILO WATT HOURS (x) electricity cost per kwh (=) Cost of appliance per year Copyright Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) 2016 Credit CEED if facilitation guide used - 2

3 Facilitation Guide: Justice in My Home Electric Bills b. Hand out Appliance Worksheet for Group Activity. Try it for the other appliances around your house or in the room. Try it for when the appliance is on, when its off. Ideas: refrigerator, coffeepot, cellphone charger, laptop, lamps, electric drill, vacuum, etc Not all of them will be easy to see what Wattage is use the meter if hard to see. [Turn some music on. Give people minutes.] c. Come back together. Fill in the chart together based on report outs. How much are these appliances costing you all together for the year? d. Do it for an older Incandescent lightbulb. How many lightbulbs do you have in your house? 20? Calculate total cost for all the lightbulbs. Talk about CFL lightbulb disposal/breakage safety quickly after does anyone know how to clean up or get rid of a CFL lightbulb if it breaks? Go over CFL Safety Information. 5) What can you do to impact your energy bill? a. Depends on the Technology (how high the Watts are) AND your Behavior (how long you use it for). You can buy lower Watt appliances or use something less (turn of the lights). b. Hand out list of Energy Hog appliances sheet these are the ones that are high Watts. Which ones do you use a lot? Many of these are expensive to purchase or our landlord controls, so programs and public policy are trying to get in place so that our communities can begin to access them. c. Hand out list of Vampire Energy list these are appliances that use energy even when we don t use them! Their use is sometimes too small even for a meter to read. i. What are some appliances in your house that are turned off, but are still plugged in? 6) Reflections of the group? What did they like about the workshop? What was hard? 7) Give them a Post Survey Ask them to fill it out now, letting them know that they can, if they want, be entered into a raffle if they are okay with you checking in with them again. None of their information will be given to anyone else. Collect surveys. 8) Distribute Giveaway Bags or materials (lightbulbs, etc) if you have them! Copyright Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) 2016 Credit CEED if facilitation guide used - 3

4 SERVICE ADDRESS ACCOUNT NUMBER Page 2 of 2 DUE DATE SARAH GOODSPEED TH AVE S /11/2015 MINNEAPOLIS, MN STATEMENT NUMBER STATEMENT DATE AMOUNT DUE /14/2015 $32.49 * SERVICE ADDRESS: TH AVE S MINNEAPOLIS, MN NEXT READ DATE: 09/16/15 ELECTRICITY SERVICE DETAILS PREMISES NUMBER: INVOICE NUMBER: METER READING INFORMATION METER Read Dates: 07/15/15-08/13/15 (29 Days) DESCRIPTION CURRENT READING PREVIOUS READING USAGE Total Energy Actual Actual 160 kwh ELECTRICITY CHARGES RATE: Residential Service DESCRIPTION USAGE UNITS RATE CHARGE Basic Service Chg $8.00 Energy Charge Summer 160 kwh $ $13.87 Fuel Cost Charge 160 kwh $ $4.39 Affordability Chrg $0.71 Resource Adjustment $0.43 Interim Rate Adj $1.45 Subtotal $28.85 City Fees 4.50% $1.30 Transit Improvement Tax 0.25% $0.07 City Tax 0.50% $0.15 County Tax 0.15% $0.04 State Tax 6.875% $2.08 Total $32.49 INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR BILL For anaverage residential customer, 56% of your bill refers to power plant costs, 8% to high voltage line costs and 36% to the cost of local wires that are connected to your home. ALGPBPHMHIBMGK APHMOGNOOBFCPK AELCCHJGPADMJK DDLLDDLLLLDLLL

5 Energy Calculator Appliance 1: Appliance 2: Appliance 3: Appliance 4: Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

6 Typical wattages of household appliances: Which of these are your energy hogs? Appliance Wattage Coffee Maker 1,000 Dishwasher 1,800 Microwave Oven 1,500 Refrigerator 200 Standalone Freezer 200 Incandescent Lightbulb 60 Compact Flourescent Lightbulb 18 Hair Dryer 710 Clothes Washer 500 Clothes Dryer 3,000 Desktop PC 75 Notebook PC 25 Computer Monitor 42 Digital Television 234 Video Game System 36 Dehumidifier 600 Space Heater 1,320 Water Heater 4,500 Vacuum 542 Aquarium 24 Ceiling Fan 75 Single Air Conditioner 1,200 Central Air Conditioner 3,500 Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Residential Sector Energy Consumption: Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy Center for Earth Energy & Democracy

7 Average vampire energy drain of household electronics: Power suckers in your home! Appliance Wattage Coffee Maker 1.14 Phone charger (charged) 2.24 Clock radio 2.01 Flat screen (LCD) computer monitor (sleep) 1.38 Desktop computer (sleep) Laptop computer (charged) Laptop computer (sleep) Flat screen television (off) 6.97 Cable box (off) DVR (off) 27.8 Stereo System (ready) Stereo System (off) 8.32 Video Game Console (ready) Video Game Console (off) 1.01 DVD Player (ready) 9.91 DVD Player (off) 1.55 Subwoofer 10.7 Cordless Power Tool (charged) 8.34 Microwave Oven (closed) 3.08 Central heating (off) 4.21 Air conditioner 0.9 Inkjet multifunction printer (left on) 9.16 Inkjet multifunction printer (off) 5.26 Laser multifunction printer (left on) Laser multifunction printer (off) 3.12 Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Standby Power Summary Table: standby.lbl.gov/summary-table.html Center for Earth Energy & Democracy Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

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